the sound of dreams

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A lot of my posts have been rather dark and gloomy, but now I want to light that up a bit with some pictures of places I dream about. I will probably not go to them this year, or maybe never, but the point is to remind myself of the good things out there, and I hope it inspires some of you too. I have so many places to still see, even if I have travelled as much as I can to countries in Europe, Asia and some in Africa (Marocco and Egypt, not sure if the last counts as it was in Hurghada). I am going to America in the autumn, and then have South-America and Australia left. Can`t wait!

Do people have recommendations for places to visit?













The sound of good parenting

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Even if i don’t have children myself, I loved this article from K. Barish. What are your experiences as parents? How do you prefer to raise them ?
Defense of Parents
By Kenneth Barish, Ph.D. on April 1, 2013 – 6:29am
Perhaps it has always been this way, but recently it seems that parents are under attack. The criticisms come from all sides. We are over-involved or overly permissive. We fail to teach traditions and values. We over-diagnose, over-medicate, and over-accommodate our kids, often to excuse our own poor parenting.

Especially, the critics believe, our children are indulged. Like curling athletes, we try to smooth their path through life, eliminating any friction. We are afraid of their tantrums, afraid to let them fail (and then learn from their mistakes) and afraid to say, “No.”

As a result, we are told, our children are “spoiled rotten” – rude, disrespectful, and unwilling to help with even the most basic chores. Some critics suggest that the problem is deeper – that children now believe in their own (undeserved) specialness and importance, and they are unprepared for the inevitable challenges and disappointments they will face as adults.

There is, undoubtedly, some truth in all of these claims. It is certainly not difficult, in our everyday lives, to find appalling examples of parental indulgence, and evidence of increased mental health problems in adolescents and young adults is real and alarming. (1)

My clinical experience, however, suggests a different diagnosis. Yes, we may be too indulgent. More fundamentally, we are too stressed – more burdened and more alone. Both children and parents now have fewer places to turn when they are in need of practical and emotional support.

In three decades of working with children and families, I have, of course, met some indulgent parents. Far more often, I meet thoughtful parents, struggling to find the right balance, in their own lives and in the lives of their children. Most parents want more for their children than individual achievement. They also want them to be “good kids” – children who act with kindness and generosity toward their families, their friends, and their communities.

Too often, however, families get stuck. Concerned and caring parents become, against their best intentions, angry and critical. And children, in turn, become argumentative and stubborn, or secretive and withdrawn. These vicious cycles of criticism and defiance then undermine children’s initiative, confidence, and sense of responsibility.

There are answers to these problems. The answer is not less parenting or Tiger parenting, but highly involved, positive, supportive parenting, informed by advances in clinical and developmental research.

In parenting debates, it is easy to lose sight of what is most important. We do not stop often enough, I believe, to consider how our children look up to us and how we remain for them, throughout their lives, sources of affirmation and emotional support. On this point, developmental research is clear: From kindergarten until they are young adults, children who are doing well in their lives have the benefit of emotional and practical support from their parents, mentors, and friends.

Here are the essential elements of a balanced, supportive approach to raising successful and caring children. It is not either/or. We can encourage our children’s self-expression and also teach them self-restraint.

• We support our children with our warm and enthusiastic encouragement of their interests and talents. Great teachers intuitively understand this, and they should be our role models as parents.

• We offer support to children when we listen patiently and sympathetically to their concerns and their grievances, and when we are willing to repair the conflicts that occur, inevitably, in our relationships. Children learn invaluable lessons from moments of repair. They learn that, although it is not always easy, moments of anger and misunderstanding are moments and can be repaired.

• We provide emotional support for our children when we accept and value their feelings – and then talk with them about the needs and feelings of others.

• We support children when we play and work with them often. Essential social skills are learned in the course of playful interactions. They are not learned in front of a screen, or from lectures and admonishments. When parents play and work with their children, children come to understand and accept, deeply and for the right reasons, the limitations imposed by adult authority. Even 5 minutes a day of interactive play between parents and children is helpful in strengthening parent-child relationships and promoting cooperative behavior in young children.

In many ways, interactive play is to children’s social development what talking with children is to their vocabulary development and what exercise is to their physical development.

• Then, we help them solve problems. When we engage children in the solution of a problem, they become less stuck in making demands or continuing the argument. They begin to think, if just for that minute, less about how to get their way and, instead, about how to solve a problem – about how their needs and the needs of others can be reconciled, an important life lesson, for sure.

• And we should let them know that we are proud of them, for their effort and for the good things they do for others. A child’s confident expectation that her parents are proud of her is an essential good feeling, and an anchor that sustains her in moments of discouragement, temptation, and self-doubt.

In these ways, we strengthen our children’s inner resources and we become an inner presence – a voice of encouragement and moral guidance. Our children will then be more successful in all aspects of their lives. They will have better peer relationships. At home, we will see less argument, less defiance, and less withdrawal. They will also work harder and achieve more in school. And we will have prepared them, as best we can, for coping with the challenges and responsibilities they will face as adults.

(1) See Hara Estroff Marano, A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting (Crown Archetype, 2008).

Copyright Ken Barish, Ph.D.

Kenneth Barish, Ph.D. is the author of Pride and Joy: A Guide to Understanding Your Child’s Emotions

About dissociation

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A therapist discussing dissociation and also gives encouragement for those affected with it now this eastern. Remember: you’re all butterflies just waiting to transform

Discussing Dissociation


Hello Everyone,

It’s the Easter weekend — a complicated and conflictual weekend for most dissociative trauma survivors. So many layers of your inside levels will be awakened, aware, involved, wondering, waiting, going, sitting, thinking, watching, feeling, remembering, refusing, believing, fighting, crying, calling, hiding, etc. Its a time of being pulled in dozens of different directions all at once.

Lots of headaches, that’s what that means.
And lots of pain. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

So yes… I am thinking of you all, and wishing peace for you. I know it’s difficult. Really difficult.

The Easter season is typically overloaded with the triggers, external pulls, family complications, and spiritual battles. The inside battle within your system may be raging at full intensity.

As best you can, remember to sit with each other, and learn what you can about the others that you see nearby. What struggles are they having? What thoughts are in…

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Protected: Narcissistic personality – Mended by You

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Protected: Best of me

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Once upon a time “Three Cups of Tea” changed one life…

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I read this book myself, and was so inspired. I love people who follow their dreams, and this man shows that anything is possible! What is YOUR dream? And how will you accomplish it?

Life-Changing Books

Dear reader, 

Today, I am going  to share with you an exciting and, at the same time, touchy story of a person , who managed to stay devoted to his  life-changing book, even after harsh critics about it appeared in the press.

Have you ever thought that just three cups of tea could completely change your perception of life? No?

Well, Boban Markovic from Serbia could not imagine that either…. Until he read the whole story.

”Three cups of tea” by Greg Mortenson and David Relin was published in 2007 and remained the New York Times‘ bestseller nonfiction for four years.

Boban discovered it in 2009,though, when his literature professor suggested him to read it. However, he did not pay much attention to it that time.

He actually read it,when his Pakistani friend, who apparently was more persuasive, mentioned the book again.

This story had a great impact on my life journey


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Lost and found

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Right now I’ve placed my professional self in the office chair of my companion, waiting for a new private patient. My stomach is bravely working with biff stroganoff that I bought in a cafeteria right before I came here. I sat down with my iPad and started to read some blogs, which inspired me to start typing myself. I read a lovely little excerpt from a woman’s life, with this question baked in the general text:
If you have never lost yourself, how can you ever find yourself?
It immediately got me, since it so elegantly turns around the meaning of something most people would classify as wrong. I like this small protest against the established, this tendency to surprise and give our brain something new to mull over.

To meet a new human lost in their own nightmare is always something special. It’s knowing we will have to take a journey, sometimes into unpleasant territory. It’s knowing I’ll be there, mostly being a cheerleader and as the one who really tries to see behind masks of fright, sadness or guilt. It’s a discovery, and also feeling someone’s pain with them. It’s feeling my eyes water because once again, someone did what they said they couldn’t: Go into a store when you’re sure you will faint and maybe die, telling you’re best friend what’s really going on


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The overhead projector is making its electric sound from above my head, spitting out black letters on a white board. The theme is affect integration in psychotherapy, the Ph.D. Project of my colleague, Nils. He’s moving to Oslo very soon, leaving us others behind in the small place where I now have worked for two years. It’s Tuesday morning, and we always have some presentation then. Last Tuesday I was in the spotlight, talking about trauma and the treatment of it.

Psychology, like other sciences, have a lot of jargon that sometimes need explaining. On of these expression is what I will write about now, which also is what Nils I talking about. Integration. It’s really not an especially pretty word, it gives associations to the sounds produced when you drag some item over a blackboard. It’s not like the pretty Italian words, rolling around in the mouth and room like it belongs there, caressing the target. But it’s not always the pretty things that matter the most, sometimes the glitter and glamour is just that, with no depth or meaning. Integration is so much more than that, when you scratch the surface its real beauty comes alive.

Two threads are not necessarily pretty themselves. One white, and one black on are just that, naked in their aloneness, longing for a partner. It’s first when they get twined together, the whiteness surrounding the dark places, that it comes alive. Think about the yin and yang. What would it be if not the other color stood by it? What would the magic scene of schindlers list, where the redness screams for attention in an otherwise colorless movie, be without the grayness? This is, as I see it, an example of integration, where the whole is more and better than its parts. It’s like making good food, the ingredient in themselves doesn’t make the mouth water, it’s the combination that gives extra flavor and meaning.

With a lot of real life problems, this also applies. It’s the people comfortable in their own skin, accepting their natural tendencies and integrating it with society, that feel complete. If a puzzle is not put together in the way it’s meant, the result won’t be right. Fitting the wrong piece into the puzzle, doesn’t work. For a human this could be inhibiting natural tendencies like joy and sadness, because the integration of preferences and logic, doesn’t combine. It’s like trying to shape someone into what you want them to be, but no matter what, the picture will not be anything else than what it was supposed to be. If forced long enough, the person will try to keep the picture together, using superglue on those pieces that doesn’t slide together naturally. It’s some integration, but not the one meant to be.

In my work I see this every day: People want to feel joy, but shame stops it from surfacing, boys want to laugh and talk, but the thoughts of somebody disliking them, abort the tendency of fun in its first trimester. It’s even more noticeable after trauma, when a lot of different roles develop that make them follow a script, often without vigor or satisfaction. It’s memories kept away, true selves locked in closed boxes and lives never lived. It always pains me to watch this in reality: The wonderful woman, who carries Everyone else’s weight in addition to her own, the man in a destructive relationship who thinks he doesn’t have the right to be happy, or the child quenching her own happiness because she doesn’t dare to laugh in a house full of gloom. The feelings, needs and tendencies, doesn’t fit into the picture someone’s trying to make, and therefore they are hidden, forgotten or forced into the wrong part, since it has to go somewhere. This is the point when the integrated system break down, where fast solutions have to be executed to compensate for the losses and keeping the organism functioning in some way. It’s when the flower shreds some petals to keep from being blown over by harsh weather, and like the bee delivering the deadly sting to protect its queen. Who of us hasn’t experienced being defensive, destruction the very same things we really longed for?

Hopefully it’s never too late. Even when a completed picture has scratches and left-overs from glue for the sake of getting everything right for the second time, the picture can still be pretty and important. Isn’t it a fact that it’s the worn and torn pics on a scrapbook page we fall for. The old photos that tell a history of a life lived? I believe in integration. In putting pieces where they belong, even when they weren’t right the first time. I think that each time we let somebody just be, whoever they are, we are helping them patch up the wrongs, and even adding the little extra that self-confident people spread without knowing it. We are all small saviors, plucking harmony and tolerance and watering others with it.